Explore this region's history through its rich historical treasures. Each site has its own unique stories to share. Delve into mountain history, the lives of regional literary figures, agricultural traditions, traditional music, and art and craft through the exhibits of the region's many museums and historic sites. Beyond the exhibits and working demonstrations, there are ongoing educational programs for visitors and many for children.
Discover Asheville's first mansion, now restored with period rooms and history exhibits. Built in 1840, this National Register property was home to mayors, a Confederate major, and friends of the Vanderbilts. Smith-McDowell is the oldest surviving house in Asheville and features grounds designed by the renowned Olmsted Brothers. Be sure to see our acclaimed Victorian Christmas Celebration mid-November through early January. The Museum is on the campus of A-B Tech Community College, near Biltmore Estate.
Friends of Mountain History (FOMH) provides advocacy, educational support, and financial assistance to heritage organizations, museums, and cultural organizations with heritage-related programs throughout a 24-county region of Western North Carolina. The organization works to build alliances, to fund regional heritage projects, and to develop and promote educational programs that strngthen and preserve our unique and diverse cultural resources.
The History Museum of Burke County is dedicated to preserving and displaying our heritage for both current and future generations. Special exhibits and events are scheduled during the year and published in a quarterly newsletter and area media. Artifact collections change regularly - so please visit often.
The Presbyterian Heritage Center in Montreat features interesting exhibits of rare photos, films and artifacts, as well as touch-screen multi-media kiosks, video screens, displays of folk art, paintings, and unique photos. Exhibits include rare first edition 1611 King James Bibles in the History of the English Language Bible Exhibit (until May 1st, 2011), China Missions, Appalachian Folk Carvings, Religion & Chaplains in the Civil War (opens May 2011), and more! Winter hours: Thursday-Friday, 10:00am-4:00pm; Saturday, 1:00pm-4:00pm; and Sunday, 1:30pm-4:00pm.
Buncombe County's primary museum of general local history, the Swannanoa Valley Museum is located in the historic Black Mountain Firehouse, designed and built in 1921 by Richard Sharp Smith, supervising architect of the Biltmore Estate. The collection interprets the story of the settlement and development of Western North Carolina, as accessed by people arriving through the Swannanoa Valley. Open April—October, Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday noon to 4 p.m. Closed on Sundays & Mondays. Admission $2. Members and students free.